I’m talking jury duty
So I had to report to my local Superior Court today for jury duty. Of course when I called after 5 p.m. yesterday to see if my group was dismissed for reporting, mine was the first one the recording said must report. Grrr. Here’s the thing. Getting up at 6:30 am except to pee is not something I will ever enjoy. Sitting on a jury though is something I’d love to do. I feel it is my civic duty and would want someone like me on the jury.
So off I went at 7:30 this morning sipping my coffee and yawning tears. The directions were wrong. I ended up in the next town, but luckily I made it in time. I had to check in and fill out a questionnaire. The first question being: Is your spouse or someone in your immediate family a law enforcement official or has been a law enforcement official? I checked the box marked YES. This answer in of itself is usually the deal breaker for me. The defense does not want me under any circumstances to sit in that jury box. Why? Because those guys know I know they jack the system and that for the most part if the DA gets a report he or she will only charge if there is at least an 80% chance of getting a conviction. How do they determine that? Evidence. Coz, I’m here to tell you, my husband has never arrested an innocent person. 😉
The next question asks: if the answer to the first question is yes, do I have confidence in the judicial system? While my gut reaction was no, because bad guys get off all of the time, I had to think hard about it. And here was my rational. If I were a juror on say a murder trial, and I knew the guy killed his wife, but the prosecution did not prove it to me, I would not find him guilty. I couldn’t do it in good conscious. I’m too honest. I marked YES.
So in that respect I felt I was more then capable of being an objective juror. After they called 140 of the 150 of us that reported this morning, I being among the 10 who were not called, we were told we got the get out of jail free card. We were thanked and excused. I was disappointed. I wanted to serve. I wanted the experience. I wanted to use my experience in a story. I wanted to do my civic duty. I wanted to be part of the American way. The last time I appeared for jury duty at least I got as far as getting into the court room and hearing about the case. A DUI. Now that I had to be perfectly honest with the judge. If the guy blew, pissed or bled a blood alcohol over .08 I didn’t care what happened, he was guilty. I was excused then too. Do you see a pattern here?
So all of this brings me to a couple of questions. It’s damn hard once your mind has been tainted to see your way through a situation and be objective. But can you? Be objective? Or do you turn a blind eye? Like when it comes to your kid being accused of something and you automatically assume the, “Not my kid.” Stance. Hell, I always knew one of my boys was involved, my automatic question was, and still is: “What did he do this time?”
Would you have for the sake of research gone to such lengths as to make sure you were picked?